FOOD PREP HACKS » for beginner cooks

These are a few food prep tips, I wish I had known sooner. Before we begin I want to take a brief moment to thank the lovely folks over at Squarespace for sponsoring this episode and thereby supporting the channel. I’m gonna speak a little bit more about them at the end. Now we’ve all had to start somewhere when it comes to cooking, and over the years I’ve learned a thing or two that has helped me to cut corners, or that’s just generally helped to make meal times more enjoyable. So in this video, I’m gonna share with you seven basic cooking tips or hacks. Things that have just generally helped me out. I hope that they can do that same for you. So this is perfect for anyone who just feels lost in the kitchen or feels like it’s new territory. Some other tips you might be familiar with, but some of them might be entirely new. We’re not gonna know until we take a look. So let’s dive in. Okay, garlic can be a pain to peel. You know the feeling. There’s always that little piece stuck on to it and you feel like you have to scrape it off with a knife or with your nails. And now there’s many hacks on how to get it over with more quickly, but I’m gonna give you a new trick that I’ve just learned recently and by mistake. So you’re gonna cut off just the bottom of the garlic, and then put the garlic into a container in the fridge. The cold environment and the little bit of moisture that’s gonna build up over the next few days makes it a breeze to peel for whenever you need it. Often with the skin coming off all in one piece. The garlic will usually last about two weeks when it’s kept in the fridge, in this way. I love ginger. It helps to fight inflammation, boosts immunity, provides digestive support, but I especially like it for the little kick it gives my smoothies, which is one of my favorite ways to enjoy it. But ginger can be difficult to peel with all those nooks and crannies and cutting it with a knife tends to cut away more flesh than necessary, so here’s a little tip a friend of mine taught me recently. Instead of using a knife, use a spoon to peel the ginger. Less is wasted this way because it removes only the skin, and it’s easier to get into those little crevices. But wait, there’s part two to this tip. If you need to grate your ginger you can try using the tip of a fork instead of a grater. All you’ve got to do is hold down the fork firmly with one hand and grate the ginger with the other. Simply moving it side to side and up and down, and voila, it’s now ready to add to salad dressings, curries, stir fries and soups. We stayed at an Airbnb in Greece once, in hopes that we would be able to make our own meals only to find that the knives were useless because they were so dull, and this is when I learned the following hack. If you have no access to a knife sharpener, kitchen knives can be sharpened using the bottom of a ceramic mug. And, of course, please be careful when doing this. Then give it a rinse and cut your veggies. You’ll see it’ll cut through everything like butter. It’s been one of my favorite kitchen tips to have learned thus far. The following tip is one I wish I had learned sooner. So instead of working hard at removing a pit from an avocado, using your hands or a spoon, which is something I always used to do, we’re gonna try again, but using a knife this time. So, very cautiously tap the seed with the edge of a knife, give it a twist and pop! The seed comes right out. How easy was that? I posted an Instagram photo recently about kale, asking if you guys liked it, and so many of you said that you did, but not if eaten raw because you felt it was too tough and bitter. Now, I felt the exact same way and my first rookie mistake was not removing the stems. The stems on kale, unlike other leafy greens, are much too tough to be enjoyable, but the second tip is one I admit I only started using myself a few months ago, and now I seriously appreciate raw kale so much more. Here’s the quick tip. Massage it. Apparently we aren’t the only ones who enjoy a massage every now and then. This little tip helps to break down the cell walls and makes the kale more soft, and even less bitter, in my opinion. For the 2 to 3 minutes you’re gonna be massaging the kale you’ll see it reduce in volume and it’s going to become a deeper green before your very eyes. After you’re done massaging, you can add the dressing and the desired toppings. For this epic kale salad, check out the recipe link in the description box below. I love button and cremini mushrooms, but when I first started cooking with them, I couldn’t for the life of me, figure out why all my meals were coming out too mushy or liquidy. Here’s the thing: mushrooms release loads of moisture when being cooked, so what I like to do now is sauté my onions and garlic first, and then add my mushrooms, and cook or sauté this for another eight minutes or so, until all the moisture has evaporated and the volume has reduced significantly In size. At this stage, it’s ready to be made into stir fry’s, curries or mushroom risottos without imparting more liquid than you intended. If I’m ever cutting two or more onions, I honestly just don’t feel like crying. So what I’ll do is I’ll just peel it. I put it in a food processor, give it a blitz and let that cut it up for me. So that’s tip number one. But the second tip is about oil. You see, there’s this common perception out there that if you don’t use enough oil, your onion’s gonna stick to the bottom of a pan and won’t caramelise. Personally, I prefer using less added oil and would rather get more of my fats from whole food sources when possible. So how do you go about caramelising the onions without needing so much oil? The answer is simply water. So we’re gonna start off with just a little bit of oil first, to get it started, and then every two minutes or so, you can add a splash of water to deglaze the pan, repeating this as often as needed, until the onions are cooked to your liking. I sometimes even batch cook my onions to store in the fridge to speed up meal prep time throughout the week. All right. So what do you think? Are any of these tips new to you? Are you gonna try any of them out? Are you already using some of them? Do you have any hacks of your own to share? If so, let us know in the comments section below. If you enjoyed this video, I welcome you to hit that like button, and you can definitely expect to see more kind of cooking hacks like this in the future. There are just too many to be shared. I again wanted to take a moment to thank Squarespace for sponsoring this video. I love what these guys are doing because they’re helping visionaries and content creators, entrepreneurs, artists, whoever to create a space for themselves online. It’s an all-in-one platform where you can use their designer, award-winning templates to create your own website or blog or online store. And in a sense, everything is taken care of for you, because there’s nothing you need to install or patch or upgrade, and they offer 24/7 customer service,which in my opinion is one of the biggest perks, because no one likes to be left hanging, right? So, if you want to give it a try, absolutely for free, visit And if you enjoy It, you can also get 10% off your first purchase by seeing that link in the description box below. All right, I’m gonna let you guys go, so you can enjoy trying out some of these new hacks in the kitchen. Thanks a lot for watching. Pick Up Limes signing off. We’ll see you next week.

100 thoughts on “FOOD PREP HACKS » for beginner cooks

  • Can't believe some people disliking this video!! Wonderful tips and very well done. Thanks and congratulations for the beautiful job you do 💚🍒🍇

  • Thank you for the tips on grating ginger, sharpening knives, peeling garlic and caramelizing onions, will use all of them!!

  • I like to peel my ginger and keep it in the freezer. Whenever i need it, i take a piece out and grate while still frozen. Works perfectly.

  • Kale, I use the hole in an spaghetti spoon/fork (the one you use to portion the spaghetti) to take the stems of the kale, you put the stem in and pull, it is easier and faster

  • garlic, u can put a knife in top and give it a whack, it partially smash the garlic and the peel come off, after you get your garlic, you can placed inside a bottle filled w oil, the oil get infused w it. you can use the oil to cook or for top something as salads, bread.

  • not in this video, but when i get basil, I put it in the freezer w oil, in plastic bags, small bags, if I need a bit of it for cooking I just get a little from my bag, the leaves turn black but it is still good and the oil also got infused w the basil. (buying fresh basil is pricey and plant some often did not male it in my house 🙁 I also freeze cilantro but w a bit of water

  • Sharpening the knife, you can use the ceramic or a plate. For scissors you use foil. I cut lots of my food w scissors

  • this was such a great video. I have fancied myself a pretty avid cook yet the only tips I knew of were the avocado and onion tips every other one of your suggestions were new to me and I really appreciate it. Thank you love your blog

  • For garlic all you need to do is take how many ever cloves off the bulb that you need. And put them in the microwave for less than 10 seconds the skins pop right off

  • I love well- massaged kale–it is the only way I'll eat it. I use the dough hook of my stand mixer to do the work. I rip up the leaves pretty small, add in some oil, vinegar, and salt, and let the mixer go on the lowest setting.

  • Hi! Another time saver is to soak a full pack of beans/chickpeas then drain and then freeze in portions. That way you always have ready to cook. I don't like the flavor of tinned chickpeas but I always forget to presoak so this is perfect for me!

  • All the hacks were amazing and i would like to add one more hack, keeping the cracked glasses in the freezer for 30 mins and then just wiping it with a lukewarm soft cotton cloth will reduce the crack.. so practically the glass is reusable

  • I don’t use any oil for cooking, specially for onions I don’t add any water at first either, I put the onions directly into the pan and when they start to stick to the bottom I add water and continue to add a little bit everytime it evaporates. They come out just as good 🙂

  • I love kale use white vinegar and boil it in water for half an hour then drain. Add local 🍯 and ham touched with butter mouth will melt away good video. My personal recipe enjoyed

  • a great tip on onions (mom knowledge): peel and cut it under water. it releases an acid liquid that makes you cry and the water washes it away, making our lives easier.

  • If the ginger is organic and you're blending it, don't bother peeling! With lemon and limes blend them once peeled rather than squeeze for extra fibre x

  • I love your videos, but why do you make smoothies or juices? The blending process cancels out any fiber and it's only sugar. It's not healthy at all

  • I always had this question: when we meal prep for the week, cook lentils and legumes for instance, do they lose nutrients? 🤔 I have pretty much no time to cook and eat healthy throughout the week, so meal prep is my friend.

  • I’m trying all of them LOL. I don’t know how to cook. But at least I know to not burn down the house… so far I think I’m on a great start. lol

  • Can I add a tip about tears when peeling onions? (I don't think I've shared it here,) swimming goggles are great. You may look daft but as long as you can see well enough to be safe, wearing them whilst chopping onions avoids tears completely. Just don't take them off straight away or you'll still cry. Open a window if possible (especially if chopping without the goggles) wash your hands and leave the room for 5 minutes to remove the glasses because whatever causes the tears will still be in the air. By the time you come back you should be ok.

  • you are amazing! thank you so much for everything you shared with us, and the positive attitude toward life and those pleasant pictures you present, enjoy your work!

  • What a wonderful idea to store caramelized onions in the fridge! That would be truly time-saving, I am definitely going to give that one a try.

  • Can you make a video on must have seeds in the kitchen like pumkeen seeds or flax seeds etc.. and loving your videos so far thank you so much for sharing healthy recipie

  • Good job on the tips! Most of these are knew but I liked the knife one and the ginger grating tip (I hate cleaning/washing the grater box 😠). I have 1 tip for cutting the onion and it is don't cut the root off, I don't cry when I leave the root on.

  • Super helpful 😄
    And another garlic jack: My mom uses a silicone garlic peeler! It’s a little cylinder and you just roll the cloves inside, and the skin comes off with no effort, so convenient

  • Another way to peel garlic is to smash it with a kitchen knife and you only have to separate the skin, is much easier an quicker

  • Safety tip – to remove the avocado seed off the knife, pinch from behind, one finger and thumb coming on either side of the back knife, to avoid slicing any knuckles!

  • hi Sadia how are you ,I have 1 request to you please make video with your family some time specially with your parents

  • If you wash it you don't have to peel ginger at all. Just cut off the really hard parts and mice it or puree it ect. It's less work and healthy

  • If you have half an avocado left, wrap it in a piece of damp kitchen towel to keep it fresh and stop it going brown 🙂

  • Another thing you can do with the garlic is to smash it one or twice with de flat of the knive. It peels right of and the garlic iss already slightly crushed

  • hiiii, I'm from Greece and I learned about your channel from my daughter and I love it. I also love the hack about knives sharpening that you found out in..Greece, did some one tell you or you found out by yourself?? I hope you liked Greece and you won't remember us only for our unsharpened knives , hahahaha

  • Love the AVO hack. Been doing that for a while and it works great. I find throwing the garlic pods in a container and giving it shake loosens the husks for easier removal. And, without my peeler and grater, I probably wouldn't enjoy ginger as much as I do. Never tried the spoon and fork combo, but good to know there's an alternative if my peeler and grater aren't with me. The knife sharpening idea is brilliant – gonna definitely add that to the mix.

  • Not sure if you heard of this trick for not crying with onions. I saw this on a cooking show and tried it out my self and it worked for me.By putting the onion(s) in the freezer for a few mintues before using it solidifys the juices in the onion and doesn't make you cry.

  • One of the biggest hacks I discovered on my own, but that may only be for me? NEVER put kale in a smoothie! Dear God, the slightest bit makes it taste like pond scum, no matter the volume of whatever else you pour in there! But kale in or as a salad? That seems to be fine and I enjoy it.

    A big tip that many may like? Cashew milk. For people who find themselves merely tolerating the nutty taste of almond milk and the not so milk-like taste of soy milk, cashew milk is the ticket. If you’ve grown up on and have difficulty letting go of the taste of regular milk, have at least cut down to skim as, skim is waaay better than it was back in the day, but still want to move towards a plant based diet, cashew milk is it, although it does cost more than regular milk – although UHT milk is getting rather pricey, too. But, if you try cashew milk, you’ll find that you probably can’t differentiate it from regular whole milk – other than the fact that it’s a bit of a creamier indulgence – that you’ll save 12 grams of sugar on for every cup! Plus – it’s a cinch to make! Last, but most certainly not least – is that animals are not harmed in the process! Win win!

  • Consider red onions instead of white or yellow — higher in anti-oxidants. Another consideration would be Red Kale instead of Green, less bitter. Also wanted to mention you can cook onions in vinegar too! Consider Rice Vinegar, Red Wine Vinegar or just White Vinegar.

  • You are one of the most inspiring people I have ever come across on YouTube, next to Elliott Hulse lol. I'm new here and just subscribed! 🙂

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